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Professor Sajjad Raja, the Chairman of the National Equality Party for Jammu Kashmir Gilgit Baltistan and Ladakh (NEP-JKGBL), made a striking comparison between the people living in Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh region and those in the Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

During an interview with ANI, Professor Raja emphasized the vast chasm in development, facilities, infrastructure, and law and order between the two regions, lamenting the dire situation faced by the inhabitants of POK and GB.

Shedding light on the condition in PoK, he expressed grave concerns over the lack of basic amenities such as hospitals and laboratories, forcing residents to seek medical care in distant cities like Rawalpindi, Islamabad, and Lahore.

Raja further revealed the distressing reality of forced migration from POK and GB, where individuals are compelled to sell their land and assets for relocation to various parts of the world, including the Middle East, Europe, America, and Canada.

“Our people are sometimes forced to sell their lands and other assets for their migration to the Middle East, Europe, America, Canada and the rest of the world. It is a forced migration that is happening in POK and GB. Pakistan is systematically trying to force our people out of POK and GB. So that the demography is changed”, the activist further said.

He attributed this phenomenon to a systematic effort by Pakistan to alter the demographic composition of the regions.

Reflecting on the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Raja acknowledged improvements in the law and order situation, development initiatives, and overall integrity. However, he underscored the enduring disparity faced by residents of PoK, expressing gratitude for the abrogation of Article 370 as a positive step forward.

“It is a fact that after 370, the law and order situation has improved, more development has taken place and more integrity. So I would say that after 370, the people have got those rights that were not available to them before. But being a state subject from POK we are very happy that this 370 is gone”, Professor Raja said.

Raja’s remarks highlight the urgent need for attention to the plight of the people in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, urging stakeholders to address the glaring inequalities and injustices faced by these marginalized communities.